William 'Bill' Downs, community-minded man

September 4, 2014
Bill Downs

William "Bill" C. Downs, 62, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, at Christiana Healthcare in Newark. He was born Sept. 21, 1951, son of the late Edgar and Marguerite (Shockley) Downs.

Bill was a 1970 graduate of Cape Henlopen High School and then went on to work as a head greenskeeper for the golf course at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. By 1980 he ventured out on his own and established Downs Ground Maintenance (DGM, Inc.), an excavation company which his one son proudly operates today.

Bill enjoyed hunting trips to Virginia and his afternoon naps in the recliner. An animal lover, he had quite the eclectic collection of farm pets, from ostriches to emus and donkeys to lamas. He loved spending time with his grandchildren on the farm, taking them for tractor rides and exploring nature.

He was a community-minded man who was instrumental in establishing the Cape Henlopen Tax Payers for Fair Elections Scholarship. Another of Bill's enjoyments in life, was attending local auctions, finding the best treasures for the best price! An excellent cook, he loved preparing meals for his family, and perhaps playing a practical joke on someone at the table. His quick wit and devoted friendship will be missed by all.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his brother, Edgar Downs Jr. He is survived by his wife of six years and companion of 14 years, Andrea; two sons: David R. Downs and his wife Ericka of Wilmington, and Robert J. Downs and his wife Desiree of Georgetown; a stepson, Bryan Edwards of Angola; a stepdaughter, Carla Robinson and her husband Jason of Goldsboro, N.C.; three grandchildren: Lauren, Quinn and Mary Downs; three stepgrandchildren: Bailee, Cody and Sydney Robinson; three sisters: Judi Klute and her husband Richard of Lincoln, Margaret Cresmer and her husband James of Rehoboth Beach, and Jean Steffe and her husband Ron of Harbeson; nieces, Susan Allen and Susan Kalet; and nephew James Klute and their children; many dear friends whom he considered family; and all his beloved farm animals.

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 8, at Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes, where friends mat begin visiting at 9:30 a.m. Interment will follow services at Conley's Chapel Cemetery, 22150 Robinsonville Road, Lewes. In Bill's honor please dress casually for his services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to A. I. DuPont Children's Hospital, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19899.

Please visit Bill's Life Memorial webpage and sign his online guestbook at


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